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Karr, Harte enrollment is higher than expected

The InspireNOLA board approved a budget revision to be submitted to the state at its meeting Monday night, citing an increase in enrollment that raised revenues by more than 5 percent, the point at which a revision must be filed.

Algiers Charter Schools Association chief financial officer Charlie Mackles, who assists with InspireNOLA’s accounting since they began managing the schools this year, said enrollment at Edna Karr High School rose from the budgeted 974 students to 1,044 students and, at Alice M. Harte Charter School, from an expected 675 to 699 students.

Mackles said the increased revenue from state per-pupil funding brought in an additional $722,000 at Harte and $1.3 million at Karr. Mackles said the majority of the additional funding has been budgeted for additional staff salaries, benefits and transportation as well as an additional $150,000 for new math and science textbooks at Karr.

Principal Jamar McKneely pointed out that in the first two weeks of the OneApp process enrolling students for the 2014-2015 school year, the charter organization has already accepted about 200 total applications.

Karr principal John Hiser encouraged board members to attend tonight’s Orleans Parish School Board meeting where the board plans to discuss the cost of the new Karr building. According to the meeting’s agenda, the board will consider a vote to raise the estimated cost of the project by roughly $13 million to a total of $44,825,934. Hiser said this increase reflects an updated look at the needs of the West Bank.

“In recent months, design needs and the needs of the population have been considered,” he said, noting that the West Bank high school student population is now expected to be closer to 2,900 students, roughly 1,200 of which are currently enrolled at the new L.B. Landry-O. Perry Walker Career and College Preparatory High School. He said the previous estimates for the new Karr school would not have created enough seats for the remaining students.

The board accepted the resignation of board member Kimberly Baptiste, who moved to Washington D.C. The board voted to add Kimberly Thomas and Michelle Bennett to as members.

The next InspireNOLA board meeting has been moved to Dec. 16 at 5:30 at Karr to avoid holiday conflicts.


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